Blog

How much time do you have?

We have all heard of Intelligence quotient (IQ) and Emotional Intelligence (EQ) – is there such a thing as Temporal intelligence quotient (TQ)?

Is vision a temporal experience? Can the way you perceive past and future be an indicator of your work performance? Do you have to be a futurologist to become a good CEO?

The late Elliot Jaques spent over 30 years researching people’s perspectives of time and discovered that how a person thinks about time reflects their job aptitude and proficiency.

His book “Levels of Abstraction in Logic and Human Action”, illustrates seven “time horizons” and relates these perspectives of time to job descriptions. A “time horizon” is the maximum work related time span that a person can comprehend and relate to in their own experience. It is the duration wherein which a person can hold a understandable frame of reference for things like vision, goals and planning for the future.

The table below illustrates his findings.

Time Horizon
Job Description
1. Three Months or less
Shop floor Personnel
2. Up to a year Section head
3. Up to two years Group head
4. Up to five years General manager
5. Up to ten years Subsidiary head
6. Up to twenty years Group head
7. Up to fifty years and beyond CEO

One dramatic finding in Jaques studies was that the people who could sustain a time horizon perspective of ten years or more were the trendsetters for everyone with shorter perspectives. The people who hold 10 year and longer perspectives are able to accept and put up with ambiguity, and are able establish their own criteria and vision for living. The very same vision was often accepted by all those with shorter time horizons and lower tolerance for lack of order and the unfamiliar.

This could possibly go to explain why so many people today simply accept media driven news and magazine articles as reality and scientific theory as immutable truth.

So where DO you see things in 100 years time?

To start increasing your vision arrange for a “CREATIVITY UNPLUGGED” workshop now.

Contact Us on +44 7736 11 22 11


There are three types of people in the world:

  • those who make things happen,
  • those who watch things happen,
  • and those who say, “What happened?”‘

    -John Newbern
%d bloggers like this: